Alex Dowsett – Next Stop the Tour


After a record equalling 4th British time trial title, Alex Dowsett is crossing his fingers for a ride in the Tour de France and then the World Time Trial Championships

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Alex Dowsett – next stop the Tour

Update – after this was posted, Alex was selected for the Tour de France by his team

On Thursday, on a circuit his dad had raced cars on, Cadwell Park, Alex Dowsett (Movistar) added a fourth British title to his collection which includes a European title (Under 23) , a stage in the Giro and this year, another stage (& overall) in the German stage race Bayern-Rundfahrt . Oh, and the Hour record!


Final mile and Alex takes the corner at the ‘mountain’ at speed

Every year the palmeres gets better and there is plenty left in the year for him if his team is helpful in giving him the races that motivate him. After equalling the record of Stuart Dangerfield, Alex, who was ill at last year’s championships, explained how it was great to have the jersey back.

“It’s a good feeling” he said afterwards to a group of journalists. “It was a hard circuit but one that suited me but it was a slog all the way. Everyone will probably feel like me in that they didn’t have a good ride”.

“I must have done but it didn’t feel like it on the way round but that was the nature of the course”.

The circuit was hilly, not mountainous, but still required a rider to go uphill quickly and so when asked how he was post Hour record, Alex replied “I have done well in races on the flat (time trial in Germany for example) but when the road goes up, I have struggled”.


More champagne to spray around as he wins his fourth TT title

“Germany was obviously very good and I was lucky in that I only had Tiago Machado as a time trialist to beat and without sounding arrogant, that wasn’t my best time trial either”.

“The hour record took a lot out of me but getting back my road form afterwards has been really difficult. I put a lot of muscle on round my back and then when I started doing the road, that turned to fat. The team doctor said that would happen and that has started to strip off now; hopefully in time for the Tour. We’ll see”.

“I really want a ride on the Tour de France. If I am selected, then the form from that will carry me through the rest of the year. If not, I will focus heavily on the World Championship time trial where the course looks good for me. There is no time trial in the Tour of Britain this year which is a shame (Alex has won the TT in the Tour of Britain before). If the team do the race though, I’ll more than certainly go and do what I can even though it doesn’t suit me”.


Rod Ellingworth, in his GB role, helps Alex with his warmup

Getting back to the time trial he did to win the race, whilst it looks straight forward with a near four minute victory, Alex was taking no chances. Before the race, talking to people close to Alex as he warmed up, the champion to be was concerned at how he was going to go round the corners quick and carry that speed up the climbs.

Whilst those of us who know what he is capable of and who he was racing against, felt the winning margin would be two minutes or so and therefore there was no need for risks, Alex wasn’t so sure. “We had no idea of the level of the UK road scene because we’re not allowed to race here so for all we knew, any of them could be seriously fast”.


“I knew on this type of course, it suited me more than Matt Bottrill. If they run it on a dual carriageway one year, then I think you will see the pure time trialists much more in the mix. In today’s race, I didn’t have a radio so I had no idea where everyone else was which was unnerving; am I up, am I down. I had no idea even though some one from the crowd did shout me I was up.”

“I saw Matt and knew that was a good sign. Catching him for four minutes was good but I didn’t know where anyone else was. I assumed Matt would be second and when I realised it was him I was catching, I knew I was onto a good one”.

So, even after catching Bottrill, who is unbeaten this year until that championship, Dowsett carried on flat stick. He was the only rider to go through the corner at the ‘Mountain’ at Cadwell Park holding on the skis in the TT position although he did have to take to the grass! But that was a sign he wasn’t taking chances in easing up and gave it everything.


First time through the bend at the mountain, and Alex is a little slower than what he will be an hour later

Even a bee sting on the inside of his thigh didn’t stop him. “Lucky it wasn’t any nearer to be honest” he said as everyone laughed or grimaced at that thought. “Rod (Ellingworth from GB) thought I was uncomfortable in the saddle moving around!”

“I looked down and there was this wacking great wasp or bee sat there. It’s normal for the nationals for something to happen. In the four I have done, something happens. Last year I was sick, the year before I crashed (still won) and the year before that I had a bike change. It’s never plain sailing”.

Finally, as the family packed up the cars including his dad close by, I asked Alex how it felt to be racing on the same circuit his dad raced cars on. “It was nice, really cool. Dad told me a story the other day of how when he got here and was just lining up on the grid, some one drove into the back of him and that was that”.

“So, I had a slightly more successful day! I have got a lot of mates who race British superbikes too and have raced here and missing that chicane at the end, I’m going to get it in the ear big time!”

Alex, who loves his cars and going fast just as his dad has done in his motor racing career, proudly then rattled off the names of tracks he has raced at, Brands Hatch, Spa Francorchamp and Cadwell Park. More are bound to follow.


Alex leaves the start at a steady speed, not burning up on the first climb (some referred to it as a ‘wall’) away from the start.

The final word though was would he rather go to Cadwell Park for a track day and the reply unsurprising … “oh yeah …”

Fingers crossed for Alex his team give him a ride in the Tour and he can show the colours on the Tour de France’s first stage, a time trial. After talking to various insiders with Tour experience, Alex would be a valuable aid to his team leader Quintana on the flatter stages… I guess we won’t have to wait long to know the answer to whether he gets that ride… I am sure I not alone in hoping that’s a yes.

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